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What is the Best Start Grant

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - more time to apply for the Best Start Grant

If you've missed the deadline for applying for a Best Start Grant payment because of coronavirus, you can make a late application.  

Social Security Scotland will check your application against your circumstances on the last day that you would normally have been eligible.

For example, if you're applying for the Pregnancy and Baby Payment after your baby has turned 6 months old, Social Security Scotland will look at your circumstances on the day before your baby turned 6 months old. They will only do this if your application is late because of coronavirus.

What is the Best Start Grant

The Best Start Grant is a package of 3 Scottish benefits to help parents and carers on low incomes with the costs of having a child in the family.

It has replaced the Sure Start Maternity Grant for people living in Scotland.

The 3 payments are:

  • the Pregnancy and Baby Payment - a one-off payment of £642.35 for a first child or £321.20 for a second or later child. It can be paid during pregnancy or until the baby is 6 months old in most cases. It could help you pay for maternity clothes, a cot or a pram
  • the Early Learning Payment - a one-off payment of £267.65 if your child is between 2 and 3 and a half years old. It could help you pay for day trips, books or toys for home learning
  • the School Age Payment – a one-off payment of £267.65 if your child is around school starting age. It could help you pay for a new school bag, school trips or after school activities.

The 3 payments are grants, not loans, so you do not have to pay them back. You can decide how you want to spend the money.

How does the Best Start Grant affect other benefits

If you get a Best Start Grant payment, it will not affect any other benefits or tax credits that you get.

What is Best Start Foods

If you're pregnant or you have a child under 3, you might be able to get help from the Best Start Foods scheme. This is a benefit to help you buy healthy food for yourself and your children.

You usually need to be getting certain benefits to be eligible. If you're under 18 and pregnant or responsible for a child under 1, you can get the benefit whatever your income.

You can apply to Social Security Scotland for Best Start Foods at the same time as you apply for the Best Start Grant.

Find out more about Best Start Foods.

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